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The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

What Is ‘Tea Party in Name Only’?



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Over in the Daily Caller, they take a look at one of the lesser-known Republicans seeking the Senate nomination in Virginia, Jamie Radtke. (The better-known Republican, of course, is former senator and governor George Allen.)

This line stood out to me:

Radtke has faith in the Tea Party’s ability to remain influential, adding that the two-year-old movement is “getting more sophisticated” and “learning what worked and didn’t work and improving upon that.” She thinks it’s funny, though, that so many “Republicans in Name Only,” or RINOs, are trying to attach themselves to the vibrant Tea Party movement. Radtke noted that Sen. Orrin Hatch, Utah Republican, has appeared at several different Tea Party events as of late, and laughed about a new Virginia group, “Tea Party Patriots for George Allen.”

“We were going to start calling them TINOs, or ‘Tea Party in Name Only,’” Radtke joked. “That’s going to be our new nickname for them.”

Really? If a Virginia conservative prefers Allen — with his lifetime ACU rating of 92, NRA-rated “A,” rated 0 by NARAL, rated 0 by the AFL-CIO, Balanced Budget Amendment–backing, rated 100 percent by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, abolished parole as governor, etc. — that somehow renders a person “Tea Party in Name Only”?

After questioning this notion, a wise voice pointed out to me that Tea Party candidates are often political outsiders and newcomers, contrasted with primary opponents who are the usual party insiders.

Thank goodness the Tea Party’s message can be carried by political newcomers and outsiders like four-term state legislator and former speaker of the Florida House Marco Rubio; Justice Alito clerk, Supreme Court litigant, and counsel to Gov. Jon Huntsman Mike Lee; former IRS lawyer, three-term state legislator, and three-term House member Michele Bachmann; three-term congressman and two-term senator Jim DeMint, and the son of a congressman and leader of an anti-tax organization for 16 years, Rand Paul.


Tags: George Allen , Jamie Radtke , Tea Parties


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